Emily Wert '19 Honors in Visual Art

Written by Jessica Taylor
June 5, 2019

Emily Wert

she/her/hers pronouns
BA in Visual Art with Departmental Honors

So could you begin by telling me about your honors project?

My project is an art exhibition in Wallspace Gallery in the Fine Arts Building that focuses on a repetitive stress injury that I developed when I was 14 in both of my hands from playing classical music. So now, I've stopped playing music and had a chance to recover a little bit. I don't have full functionality in my hands all of the time, and I don't know if I will. So my project is looking at the after of the injury; what happens when you have residual pain, residual weakness, and what does that look like? And how do you go about healing that way? I started out looking to Western medicine, and it didn't give me the healing that I wanted, so [in my Honor’s Project] I’m focusing on alternative medicine, and how to heal after the fact. 

So what are some ways that you're trying to depict that? What mediums have you gravitated towards?

In terms of material, I'm looking into more natural elements. I am using some botanical elements in my work and then depicting things that are more natural. So going towards botanical art, and specifically plants that have medicinal qualities, so anti-inflammatory properties- things that are naturally found in nature that can be used as a healing agent.

So can you tell me a little bit about your experience at SU? Are there faculty members that have inspired you and your work here?

I like that the art department is small enough that you have professors multiple times. I think that gives you a chance across mediums to build a relationship with the professor. I worked with Trung Pham as part of the MacMillan Assistantship Program, and he was also my sculpture professor. I've had Franc Guerrero as a professor many times, and he's also my advisor. So it's nice to have the opportunity to work closely with people throughout the years who see your art develop, and who can help you along the way.

What do you do outside of school? Are there any organizations or clubs you worked with?

I'm in ArtSideOut on campus and participated in some of their shows over the years. And I was just published in Fragments. I'm currently interning at the Frye Art Museum as a gallery guide, and I work at Pike Place at a pepper-jelly stand.

do you have any plans after graduation so far? Like, what do you want to? Where do you want to go like with your visual arts major after this?

I'm interested in design and marketing, advertising. I feel like I’ll have to do some sort of digital work in order to prepare for that. But I feel like being able to design things for companies would be ideally, what I would want to be doing. Some sort of branding, I think would be really interesting. I do like facilitating art for other people. At home, I work at a ceramic studio, where we do pottery painting, I teach kids classes. So something where I'm working with people and making art at the same time.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your honors project, or anything else that you really enjoyed? Like what was like a favorite class that you took here that was kind of like pivotal in your learning?

I loved taking a ceramics class. It was really nice to have a very hands-on class with long studio hours where you end up with a very substantial physical product. I'm also taking an ancient art class right now that I never thought I would like, and it's turned out to be one of my favorite classes I've taken at SU.